A FORESTER is celebrating after winning an appeal against Chester City Council’s decision to stop him from building a £300,000 timber storage facility.
Simon Harding, who owns Broomheath Plantation near Tarvin, originally had his proposals for the large building rejected but the planning inspectorate has overturned the decision.
The appellant was granted permission to continue with his project following the appeal hearing at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chester on Tuesday, September 30.
The building proposals, which received 46 objections from local residents, include a classroom, storage of forestry machinery, facilities for the selling of Christmas trees and a car park.
Harding, who is now planning on becoming a forest school teacher, was delighted with the decision claiming that common sense had prevailed.
He hopes that schools, youth groups and the scout association will use Broomheath Plantation, where Harding has planted more than 30,000 trees, for education visits.
He said: “Of course it’s fantastic news. It’s been a long hard slog for me but what has taken the wind out of my sails is that the parish council and local authorities are still refusing to get involved.
“Even though the Planning Inspectorate has endorsed what is a fantastic project, I know that those who have objected to it will never ever support it.”
The appellant must comply with all conditions set out by the Planning Inspectorate in its decision document for development work to begin.
Inspector Christopher Thomas, who approved the appeal, said: “I have considered all of the objections raised by local residents at application stage and in connection with the appeal but nothing is of sufficient weight to persuade me otherwise than I have concluded.”
Chester City Council planning board rejected the original planning application because they felt the building, due to its size, height and isolated siting, would cause unacceptable harm to the surrounding open countryside.
A council spokesman said: “The original application was in fact recommended for approval by planning officers but the councillors on the planning board turned it down.”